By Joseph Jubelag
GENERAL SANTOS CITY– The Philippine National Police-Maritime Group- has formed a task group that will conduct an investigation into the shootout involving PNP Maritime Group personnel and suspected smugglers off Sarangani Bay last November 27 which resulted in the killing of two policemen and the wounding of two others.
P/Col. Andrew Cayad, PNP-Regional Maritime Unit chief, said PNP-Maritime Group director P/Brig. Gen. R’win Pagkalinawan had ordered the creation of a special task group to probe the incident wherein the PNP-Maritime Group personnel were ambushed by suspected smugglers while conducting sea borne patrol.
The shootout resulted in the killing of Msgt Edilberto Bernardino and Msgt Rodrigo Salmon and the wounding of Msgt Roger Agodania and SSgt Edwin Tubig.
Cayad said the policemen were conducting seaborne patrol following information that suspected smugglers were planning to smuggle into the city imported cigarettes from Indonesia.
“The suspects who were armed with high-powered firearms ambushed our personnel while on sea borne patrol,” Cawad said.
He said MSgt Bernardino who served as the skipper of the rubber boat was hit in the first volley of gunfire.
He stressed that they had already identified the smuggling group behind the attack on PNP-Maritime Group operatives. Appropriate charges are being prepared against the suspects.